DISCLAIMER: This recap of the SurrealEstate episode “Ft. Ghost Child” is laden with spoilers. You’ve been warned. Proceed at your own peril.
Welcome back, stigmatized property hunters! We’ve reached the halfway point in the first season of SurrealEstate! “Ft. Ghost Child” isn’t as action-packed as last week, but there are definitely bright spots in the form of Adam Korson and a touching dramatic scene with Tim Rozon. In addition, it’s helmed by Melanie Scrofano, and she steps up to the plate as an adept director.
“Ft. Ghost Child” is a bit inconsistent in terms of pacing, but the last seven minutes are engrossing and visceral. You almost forget you’re watching a genre show. SurrealEstate has certainly improved over the weeks, and I’m curious to see whether or not the back half of the season catapults the narrative to new heights.
Ready to delve into “Ft. Ghost Child”? Let’s get to it.
We open on a creative blending of two scenes — one features Luke (Rozon) upselling the Cortona House to prospective buyers, while the other showcases Phil (Korson) and August (Maurice Dean Wint) on a mission. They’re trying to vanquish a frightening spirit from that very house.
Thankfully, our dynamic duo successfully delivers on that front. Tessa (Getenesh Berhe) and Zeke (Nathan Mitchell) agree to tour the sprawling residence on behalf of the latter’s brother, Damon. Damon is an award-winning rapper.
Next, Luke shows his clients around the Cortona House. Luke senses something’s amiss. He ushers Phil and August aside to ask them if they’ve noticed anything beyond the angry old-man-spirit they just eradicated. Luke asks Phil to make a pitstop at the local diocese. You know, the church from which he was essentially excommunicated.
So, Phil encounters Sister Mary Ellen (Diane Leblanc), who’s rather unpleasant. He asks for access to the church’s records regarding the Cortona House. They do own it, after all. Of course, he’s rebuffed.
After Sister Mary Ellen departs, Sister Yasmine enters the fray. She wants to help Phil out. We like Sister Yasmine. Be like Sister Yasmine.
Meanwhile, Luke notices a series of strange occurrences. A slinky descends the staircase of its own accord. A toy firetruck zooms toward him. Toy soldiers are strategically placed throughout the house. A child’s voice asks Luke to play with them. Luke attempts to elicit the youthful spirit, but no dice.
Then, Damon (Cassius Crieghtney) hits up the studio that’s inside the Cortona House. Zeke works the soundboard. Zooey (Savannah Basley) watches … for science. Susan (Sarah Levy) attempts to sway the immovable Tessa.
After Damon lays down the track, he listens to the playback with Zeke. Suddenly, a ghostly child’s voice is accompanying Damon’s vocals. The track cuts off with a high-pitched screech.
Later, Tessa, Zeke and Damon are ready to pack their bags when Luke persuades them to stay. Susan flies in Damon’s favorite hometown chef as the cherry on top. She knows how to work ’em.
Next, at the diocese, Phil and Yasmine hit the Cortona House jackpot. He continues to rummage through the extensive files alone.
Then, he delivers a heartbreaking monologue to a painting of Jesus. The said monologue touches on the complex relationship he has with religion. We know Phil was booted from the church for being gay.
During dinner, we see Susan and Zeke are hitting it off. Everyone’s having a grand ole time. Damon heads upstairs to his room. We see the ghost child in the reflection of his mirror.
At his home, Phil has a heart-to-heart chat with his husband. He divulges his convoluted feelings regarding the church. He loves the idea of a higher power and finds comfort in that. However, his husband believes he’s merely looking for a Lin-Manuel Miranda. Aren’t we all?
Next, Luke meets with his team back at The Roman Agency. Phil amassed a collection of photos from the Cortona House records. Apparently, in the 1960s, the Cortona House was where unwed mothers could give birth to their bastard children without public scrutiny.
Unfortunately, these children were separated from their mothers after they were born. The majority of the kids died, as did their moms.
Phil shows the group a series of images. They feature sisters from the local diocese with young children. Luke spots a boy who looks familiar. The said boy is our ghost child.
Then, Damon listens to another track with the same spooky background vocals. He sees the toy firetruck roll by his feet. He has Zeke listen to the track as well. Damon is convinced that a spirit is trying to contact him. He goes for a drive to clear his head. Suddenly, while Damon is driving, a pair of small hands snake out from behind his head and conceal his eyes.
Damon crashes his vehicle. Thankfully, he walks away from the wreckage unscathed. Tessa promptly fires The Roman Agency thereafter.
Of course, we know Luke never stops working on a case just because a client terminates him. Obviously, the ghost child connected with Luke and Damon because he craves human contact. Luke’s struck with a revelation: the boy really needs his mother.
Later, Phil visits Sister Mary Ellen. He starts probing deeper into the Cortona House’s history, much to her consternation. She discloses that the ghost child’s mother passed away decades ago. In addition, the boy’s name is George. George died from the flu around 1970.
Meanwhile, George (Atticus Lee-Sampson) finally reveals himself to Damon. He proceeds to lock the rapper in his studio. George only wants a companion, so Damon must fulfill that role.
Next, after getting the scoop from Phil, Luke reaches out to George. He sits the ghost boy down and imparts the bad news — his mother isn’t coming for him. Luke tearfully explains that even though George’s mother isn’t here, she still loves him with all of her heart. He gently implores George to close his eyes and fall asleep. Then, when he sees the light, he must walk toward it.
God, this scene wrecked me. I can empathize with Luke regarding his maternal troubles. Rozon’s such a gifted dramatic actor, and he imbues the scene with visceral, raw emotion.
Finally, George passes on. His business is finished.
Later, we see Luke is at a bowling alley called “Funland.” He’s bowling with his deceased father (Art Hindle). Well, his dad’s ghost. Luke questions his dad regarding his mom. Why did she leave them? Was he the reason for her departure?
Unfortunately, Ghost Dad tries to circumvent the issue at hand. Luke assumes his mom left because of him. He leaves Ghost Dad to bowl alone.
Overall, “Ft. Ghost Child” is a solid episode. It’s poignant and touching. I loved seeing more of Phil’s backstory and digging into his psyche. SurrealEstate addresses religion and its general intolerance of the LGBTQIA+ community. Can one be part of that community and still believe in God? It’s an interesting query the show handles with grace.
Side note: Nathan Mitchell plays Black Noir on The Boys. Needless to say, I squealed a bit when I saw him pop up. According to IMDb, it appears he’s only in this episode. I want Zeke and Susan to get together! Their chemistry was sizzling.
Rozon and Korson stole the show for me tonight. I’m hoping we dive deeper into who August is at some point.
SurrealEstate airs Fridays at 10 pm on your Syfy affiliate.